Wednesday, April 5, 2017

13 Ways of Looking at a Tree

Poets United Midweek Motif challenges us to present an outdoor scene honoring April. 
Looking out my window at the budding trees, I'm reminded of Wallace Stevens' poem
"13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird", and I've adapted the idea for an oak.
Submitted to Midweek Motif
April, 2017

It falls from high,                  
small, brown, inconspicuous,                
containing promise of mighty oak          

A seedling, roots seeking sustenance               
growing strong and tall              
fulfilling destiny                          
Shield from summer sun                
dappled shade                      
on cool green grass.
Natives gather beneath              
dense leaves provide shelter              
from summer storm                  
Feathered inhabitants
find welcome homes
and raise voices in song

Now standing sentinel
beside pioneer cabin
amid fresh young dreams.

The child swings
from sturdy limb
happy and secure

In soft rustles of night
a quiet “who who”
of resident owl

Taller still, rooted deep
scarred by time
cloaked in history.

Dressed in colors
glorious red
russet and gold

Now naked in winter winds
limbs akimbo
colors pooled below

Stark shadow cast on snow
like tentacles
seeking warmth

Now tinged with green
bursting with life anew
the cycle continues.


  1. A beautiful circle.

    Have a nice Wednesday

    Much love...

  2. Nice. You've given reasons not just to look at a tree, but to love it.

  3. Ah, THIS is the Poets United prompt poem. Sorry for confusion. I like the Wallace Stevens reference very much moving from seed to a wintery nakedness. Very fine.

  4. A wonderful life story, a tale of strength and endurance.

  5. love how the promise is fulfilled in every way possible...

  6. You have so mystically presented a year in the life of a budding oak. I enjoyed reading about each one of its stages.


  7. In this sequence, it seems you have given us not only this wonderful tree but many aspects of April.

  8. I love the image of the child swinging from a sturdy limb. I think I can vaguely recall doing that a hundred or so years ago! :)

  9. A well captured scene with vivid images that transport the reader to another world, and back. I like the narrative element, too!

  10. Beautiful and meditative. Love the details like the pooled colors beneath the bare tree.

  11. I like that Wallace Stevens poem. Yours is beautiful! There's such rich color and sound - the changes a tree goes through, the bring everything to life here.

  12. Lovely poem, Bev, and within the tree you describe is the whole world and the cycle of life.